Life and career
The son of king Attalus I and queen Apollonis, Eumenes followed in his father's footsteps and collaborated with the Romans to oppose first Macedonian, then Seleucid expansion towards the Aegean, leading to the defeat of Antiochus the Great at the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC. Following the peace of Apamea in 188 BC, he received the regions of Phrygia, Lydia, Pisidia, Pamphylia, and parts of Lycia from his Roman allies, as they had no desire to actually administer territory in the Hellenistic east but wished for a strong state in Asia Minor as a bulwark against any possible Seleucid expansion in the future. He later fell out of favour with the Romans after they suspected him of conspiring with Perseus of Macedon and consequently in 167 BC, the Romans made an abortive attempt to suborn his brother Attalus II, as a pretender to the Pergamene throne and refused Eumenes entry into Italy to plead his case.
He married Stratonice of Pergamon, daughter of Ariarathes IV (King of Cappadocia) and his wife Antiochis, and their son was Attalus III. Since their son was still a minor, the throne was assumed by his brother Attalus II, who married Eumenes' widow Stratonice.
One of the great achievements of Eumenes II was the expansion of the Library at Pergamon, one of the great libraries of the Ancient World and the place traditionally associated with the creation of parchment, although it had actually existed for centuries. He also built a stoa on the Athenian acropolis.
- Hansen, Esther V. (1971). The Attalids of Pergamon. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press; London: Cornell University Press Ltd. ISBN 0-8014-0615-3.
- Kosmetatou, Elizabeth (2003) "The Attalids of Pergamon," in Andrew Erskine, ed., A Companion to the Hellenistic World. Oxford: Blackwell: pp. 159–174. ISBN 1-4051-3278-7. text
|King of Pergamon
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